Former U15 England Schoolgirl becomes Ipswich Town’s first ever professional Women’s player
For this weeks Throwback Thursday piece we are exploring the story of ex England U15 Schoolgirl, Sophie Peskett. Sophie was part of the England U15 Schoolgirls team in 2016/17 and spent four years playing for her county side, Hertfordshire. She has recently signed for Ipswich Town FC Women as their first ever professional player. Lets take a look at Sophie’s journey and explore how she made the step from schools’ football to signing her first professional contract.
Sophie started her Schools’ Football Career at The John Warner School in Hoddesdon captaining her school team. She became the school’s highest ever goal scorer throughout her five years on the team. Sophie was nominated to play for the Hertfordshire Schools’ FA by her PE teachers, where she was an integral part of their U14 and U16 set ups. Her coach at Hertfordshire SFA, Hayley Wood-Thompson describes Sophie as having “the fastest feet in the game” and applauds her “intelligent attitude and great work rate.”
After shining for her county side, Sophie was nominated to trial for the England U15 Schoolgirls’ team and was selected to represent her country after impressing throughout a tough trial process. Sophie’s first experience with the international side was a tour to Porto F.C. courtesy of our partners inspiresport. The tour saw the girls train at the training ground of Porto F.C., play against a Porto F.C. youth side and watch the Porto men’s team play Juventus at the Estasdio do Dragao stadium.
The U15 England Schoolgirls then travelled to Dublin to play their Republic of Ireland of Ireland counterparts In March before returning to Dublin to play in the Bob Doherty Cup – a yearly international tournament between England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. Although the results didn’t go our way, the Bob Docherty Cup allowed Sophie and her teammates to show off their talent and togetherness against top class international opposition.
After her U15 Schoolgirls experience, Sophie played for the Essex RTC as well as being involved in the Ipswich Town Youth setup before making the step up to the women’s team in 2019. Sophie scored her first senior goal for Ipswich Town in September 2019 and got her first ever hat-trick away to Stevenage, at just 16 years old. This impressive goal scoring record and apparent interest from WSL clubs saw Sophie become Ipswich Town FC’s first ever professional player, signing a contract that she says will help her focus on her football whilst studying at university. Watch Sophie’s first interview after signing her contract here:
The ESFA would like to congratulate Sophie on her achievements and wish her the best for her career going forward. It is amazing to see a player utilise the schools’ football pathway as Sophie has done and push onto to successful career in the game.
The National Governing Body for Schools’ Football in England.